At 9-5 overall, the La Salle Explorers are arguably the A-10’s most improved team from a season ago. Despite the improvements, however, La Salle is still learning how to win. So far this year only one thing is for certain about the Explorers: they are unpredictable.
Earlier this season La Salle hung tough in games against teams like Temple and Villanova. Although the Explorers fell short in the end, they put up a fight and showed some flashes. Entering conference play averaging over 84 points per game as a team, La Salle faced a difficult test right off the bat at Dayton. With an opportunity to make a statement against Dayton, the Explorers fell flat on their face. The Flyers dominant defense rattled La Salle as the Explorers put up just 55 points. Such a poor showing at Dayton caused most to write La Salle off for yet another season.
Since the loss to the Flyers, La Salle has totally turned things around. The Explorers used two easier games against Saint Louis and Duquesne to grab a couple wins and regain some confidence. Then, on Thursday night, La Salle faced its second toughest to date in conference play. Traveling to Kingston for a showdown with Rhode Island, the Explorers knew they were in for a battle. Determined to pickup a huge win, La Salle wanted to make a statement and make a statement it did. In a very surprising upset, the Explorers controlled the action from start to finish. La Salle extended its win streak to three with an 87-75 victory over the Rams.
So how did La Salle possibly manage to go into Kingston and dominate Rhode Island? Because the Explorers simply did what they do best: shooting the lights out. La Salle shot an incredible 58% from the field and 50% from three in the win over Rhode Island. Five Explorers scored in doubt digits, including a 22 point performance from junior guard Amor Stukes.
After jumping all over the Rams on the offensive end, La Salle just would not let up. This win is absolutely huge for the Explorers both resume and confidence wise. If La Salle can continue playing as a team and capitalizing on its strengths, the Explorers could very well wind up pulling off a few more upsets before the season is over.